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Full text of "A history of Persia"

EXPULSION OF THE AFGHANS       331
orders of the Caliph, to whom Ashraf must submit under
pain of feeling his power. So upset were the Turks by
this mission that a body of them deserted together with a
large contingent of Kurds. Ahmad Pasha, who had sixty
thousand men and seventy guns, decided to force a
general engagement without further delay. The Afghans,
with only one-third of this number and forty "little
wasps/' fought superbly and won, killing twelve thousand
Turks in the battle. With consummate diplomacy the
victor refused to allow any pursuit, and even released his
prisoners and restored all the personal property of the
vanquished Turks. This masterly moderation produced
a strong feeling in his favour, and a treaty was concluded
in A.H. 1140 (1727), in which Ashraf acknowledged the
Sultan as Caliph, and was himself recognized in return as
Shah of Persia. The provinces held by Turkey were all
ceded to the Sultan. In other words, Persia was dis-
membered. The boundary between the Turkish and
Russian acquisitions was fixed later by the two powers.
Shah Tahmasp joined by Nadir Kuli, A.H. 1139 (i 727).—
The Afghan monarch was no sooner freed from the fear
of the Turks than he was confronted with an evea more
serious danger. One source of extreme weakness was his
failure to secure the city of Kandahar. This lessened, if
it did not altogether stop, the stream of Afghan recruits ;
it is indeed curious to notice how little initiative the
Afghan tribes displayed, for few came to Persia even after
the capture of Isfahan. At this juncture Tahmasp, who
held his Court at Farrahabad in Mazanderan, was joined
by Nadir Kuli, who was destined to achieve fame as the
last great Asiatic conqueror. He brought with him five
thousand war-hardened Afshars and Kurds. Fath Ali
Khan Kajar had already collected three thousand men,
recruits flocked in, and a national reaction began.
The Conquest of Khorasan by Nadir Kuli.—Nadir per-
suaded the young Shah in the first place to march into
Khorasan, where the sacred city of Meshed and Herat
were in the hands of Malik Mahmud and of the Abdali
Afghans respectively. On the march he killed his rival,
Fath Ali Khan, grandfather of the founder of the present